As the debate continues on whether The Bahamas should decriminalize marijuana, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque said, the Regional Commission on Marijuana’s report is almost complete and will be ready for release next month.
The commission visited The Bahamas in January and held a town meeting to garner views from the public on the issue.
While other countries, including Jamaica have been progressive in decriminalizing the “drug”, local government officials have said that it’s not on the agenda at this time.
In an interview with Eyewitness News at the wrap up of the recent Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) conference held at British Colonial Hilton hotel, LaRocque said, while mixed reviews remain on a regional level, he is pleased that the dialogue has been frank and open.
“The commission is fairly close to finishing its work and will be reporting directly to the heads of government because that is where the order comes,” LaRocque said.
“We are still in the process of determining what is the agenda. I anticipate that it will be ready by July.”
He added that the independent commission was mandated to conduct a rigorous enquiry into the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use in the Caribbean, and to determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification of marijuana.
This, LaRocque said, will make the drug more accessible for all types of use.
“The commission is a group of experts and I believe that they have done all that they needed to do and are now in the process of drafting that report.”
As countries in the Caribbean region begin to shift toward policy talks surrounding the decriminalization of medical marijuana as well, LaRocque said, The Bahamas could be among those countries that engage in serious debate about the way forward with the drug, and the potential use of marijuana for medical purposes.